Images & Quotes: Day 1 of Islanders Training Camp in Brooklyn

Bruce Bennett

From the morning LIRR train to Brooklyn to the first practice in their shiny future digs, the Islanders pulled off a media event to kick off 2013-14 training camp.

As discussed earlier this week around here, the New York Islanders turned the first day of 2013-14 training camp into a promotional event to plant the seeds for excitement about their move to Brooklyn two seasons from now: Not only via skating at the new arena -- where they'll have a preseason game Sept. 21 -- but also literally via the Long Island Rail Road, their suggested route for so many L.I.-based fans to cognitively embrace this pending move.

The players took the train, walked through the station, all accompanied by invited media for photo ops. Jerseys on, they went up the escalator and into the arena entrance en masse, like an invasion. The team flashed what the four Stanley Cup banners will look like once they're in Brooklyn permanently.

It was a day of practice, sure, but it was mostly a photo op bonanza, captured in this gallery on the team's official site.

The organization -- with Bruce Ratner taking a trumpeter's role -- answered burning questions about the present and future:

They said seating for hockey would be around 15,800 (but some with obstructed view) -- bigger than original estimates, and strikingly close to the capacity of Nassau Coliseum.

This was a day to woo media -- still conduits for buzz even in our distributed media age -- so lunch and specialties were served:

Mockups of a future Isles locker room were shown:

Flirtations with playing in Brooklyn sooner -- on a here and there basis while "honoring the lease" -- continued.

Lines?! Lines! LINES!!1

The two skating sessions were generally broken into existing NHLers in one group and prospects in the other. Early indication of LINES were read. Jack Capuano said it's training camp, and jobs can be won.

... and that brings us back to the real purpose of this time of year. Yes, it's buzz for the upcoming season and, in the Isles' case, an upcoming move. But ultimately it's about preparing the squad for battle this season, identifying who that squad is and where the rest of the backup pieces fit.

Tomorrow: Back to Nassau for regular camp. Brooklyn can wait.

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